I was a third generation Jehovah's Witness (JW). When I recall the days of my youth it seems that what I heard most often
was, "How wrong the "religionist" were, and how right the JWs were. I realize now the vast difference between
religion and Christianity. As a JW, I was concerned with works - not only doing such things as preaching from house to house,
but with the things I must not do such as celebrating the holidays and birthdays. Every word written by the Watchtower Bible
and Tract Society (WBTS) was considered "truth" that must be followed to the letter, whether it's taking a blood
transfusion, voting, or participating in a war. To do otherwise was sinning against Jehovah, resulting in the possibility
of losing the hope of eternal life.
I was married and had three children before I began having serious doubts about
the WBTS being God's only channel of communication. These doubts began to emerge when I had to make some very important decisions
that simply went against the grain of my personality. You would think that making decisions such as refusing a blood transfusion
could bring about doubts. Like signing papers to let a baby die rather than take blood. I had an RH factor blood condition
and in those days they transfused the baby at birth should a problem occur. Fortunately, I was spared - but I was ready and
willing to let my children die! Why? Because I was convinced that the WBTS had the "Truth" and should I do differently,
I would lose the hope of eternal life and so would my child, should death occur. I began doubting when the WBTS got "new
light" (additions to what had been previously taught).
"New light" said, "If you see JWs sinning
and do not report them, you are guilty of that sin yourself. A sister in our congregation took blood when she hemorrhaged
at childbirth. My options were - report her - and if I didn't, the sin fell on me. Both options bothered me! You see, when
you are ignorant of having a relationship with Christ, you follow people blindly, trusting them to be in God's will. Like
a good JW, I reported her and she had to appear before a committee of elders..
This, along with other "new light"
caused me to start thinking about "where and how" they get their new light! I inherited a WBTS library from one
of my relatives, and began reading the older publications. I learned they had changed their interpretation many times. I took
note that the modern literature quoted often from the older publications. Now I was able to pick up the very book they quoted
from - and guess what? They often misquoted - took out of context - and misapplied their own writings! After two years of
research I realized I was following an organization - led by man's interpretation of the Bible.
I stopped attending
meetings, and all JW activities, but I entered a state of spiritual loneliness. Where could I go? All religions were false,
so I had been taught! Where is "Truth" found? After a great deal of searching, I decided to try out a Christian
Church. We attended for awhile, but had not come to know the true person of Christ. I was not yet convinced the churches were
not of the devil. After all - all churches believe in the concept of the Trinity, hellfire, and a soul leaving the body at
death. I didn't believe any of these doctrines! While I was trying desperately to sort out doctrines, the WBTS got "new
light" saying if any JW attended church, they would be disfellowshipped. Not knowing whether I was following Satan or
Jesus - I submitted to the elders, when called to a committee meeting - and stopped attending church - I was not ready to
be disfellowshipped for something I was not yet sure of.
Fifteen years later, my Catholic sister-in-law shared that
she was born-again. I'd never heard of a born-again Catholic! I saw a change in her life - she was giving up bad habits such
as smoking - she was aglow with something. I didn't know what (but of course it was the Holy Spirit!). She spoke of prayer
meetings in the Catholic Church. (I'd never heard of that either). She challenged me to a meeting. I went out of curiosity.
Right away, I realized this was not a typical "Catholic" meeting. The speaker shared the love of Jesus in such a
way that I'd never heard before. He spoke in various denominations, and it was obvious that his focus was on the personage
of Jesus Christ. Oh, how I needed this message! When he finished, he asked that we stand, join hands, and sing the Lord's
Prayer. Something very unexpected happened. Suddenly, I felt God's liquid love pour over me from the top of my head to the
tip of my toes! Without knowing what had happened, I instantly realized I had been searching for "the truth" in
all the wrong places and the Truth was there all the time! John 14:6 says, "I am the way, the truth and the life, no
man comes to the Father except by me." Yes, Jesus is the Truth and "He was there all the Time!" No wonder a
song was written by that title. The song, "He Touched Me," came to mind - now I understood that, also. I felt such
a joy in my heart -I just wanted to rejoice - but restrained myself thinking people would notice a strange look on my face!
When we left, my friend said, "How did you like it?" I just started laughing - I couldn't hold it in any
longer! She said, "Something happened to you, didn't it?" I replied, "Yes, - I can't explain it - but I feel
as though I've been cleansed from head to toe!" I realize now that I was touched by the power of the Holy Spirit. God
knew I could never find the "Truth" by searching through definitions of words - I had my Watchtower blinders on
- I couldn't believe the simple gospel, I had to experience it!
Now I understood why Paul had to be knocked from
the horse to become a believer -some of us are just like that! I thought sure my new-found joy would be gone the next morning,
but it wasn't! I woke up anxious to read the Bible and pray! As I read through the book of John, I wondered when the word,
"Jesus" was added to so many pages -seems like I had never realized that before! On my knees in the privacy of my
living room, I asked Jesus to come into my life - that I would do anything He asked of me. Well, don't pray this prayer if
you're not willing - for I had no idea what He had in store!
My husband liked the change in me - then he was willing
to visit prayer meetings, and finally, church. (Yes, we were reported by a JW when seen going into a church - we were visited
by two JW elders telling us we were being disfellowshipped - yes - after being out for fifteen years)! Since then, this practice
has stopped, but the end results are the same - they are ostracized. My husband accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior. The
next year was spent in deprogramming ourselves - we had to learn everything over! Then the Lord put it on my heart to write
a book of my testimony. I kept all my research that went into this book, now in the third printing. I was invited to appear
on national TV along with three other former JWs. Soon, all of us began receiving a ton of mail! I had not expected to go
into ministry any more than I expected to write a book - but here I was - living out my promise, "I'll do anything!"
Before I knew it, I was sharing my research and my newly learned orthodox views with hundreds of JWs and Christians who needed
to help loved ones in the JWs. I became a Christian discipler overnight! My JW discipline skills came in handy! I feel so
very privileged to lead many JWs to Christ - it was such a joy to explain to them who the true person of Jesus of Christ really
is! (JWs believe Jesus is also Michael the archangel - that he was Jehovah's first creation). The concept of the Trinity is
very offensive to them.
We've been privileged to have Dave and Dennis speak at our conferences on the cults. We met
Dave in '85 and he's been our encourages, ever since. We've thrived on Lamb and Lion's teaching and encouragement.
continue ministering to those ensnared by the cults, as well as have support groups when needed. We are very happy in a spiritually
strong church, Hill 'N Dale Christian Church. I'm especially thrilled to see our Youth Minister educating the young people
in becoming servants of Christ - verses being entertained! He is teaching them to witness to others! I encourage all Education
Ministers to teach their members the concept of the Trinity and include a teaching on the cults. An ounce of prevention is
worth a pound of cure!